London's leading finance lobbyists call on UK policymakers to set global pace on crypto

On Tuesday, a major UK trade association put out an extensive report calling on policymakers to issue clearer rules on crypto in the country.

Named for London's famed financial district, TheCityUK is one of the most powerful forces in British finance lobbying. The organization prefaces its report with hope for the UK to "take a world-leading position in this high-growth, high-potential sector."

In broad terms, the organization's report advocates quick action and a certain degree of laissez-faire sensibility. It calls for a "risk-based" approach, which generally translates into banks and financial services providers doing in-house appraisals rather than responding to mandated check-lists. 

TheCityUK also proposes a taxonomy of digital assets that divides the field into seven distinct areas, several of which lack regulation. Formal taxonomies of digital assets have been a pressing issue for the industry worldwide.  

The report emphasized that a UK no longer subject to EU rules can be quicker and more flexible in responding to emerging technologies.

Many forces in UK politics have been converging to work on digital assets. Earlier this year, HM Treasury's review of local fintech also called for more comprehensive regulation on digital assets. A representative of TheCityUK told The Block that this was not strictly coincidence: 

"It was the HMT call for evidence that kicked off our specific work in this area. Once we had gone through the process of pulling together member thinking for our consultation response, we felt it would be a waste not to publish a more accessible, externally facing summary of our member's views."

Just this morning, an MP wrote to the Financial Conduct Authority's chancellor to chastise the FCA over delays to its register of crypto businesses.